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AAA meeting venues

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  • Dianne C
    Dear SACCers, Here is some of the correspondence that s been going around regarding AAA meeting venues. For some reason, I m not able to open all of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 27, 2005
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      Dear SACCers,

      Here is some of the correspondence that's been going around regarding AAA
      meeting venues. For some reason, I'm not able to open all of the
      attachments, but I think you can still get the basics of what's being
      discussed.

      Hope y'all are having a wondeful summer.

      Cheers!
      Dianne Chidester


      Dear SA Colleagues:

      Members of the SAE Executive Committee have discussed the report that Dan
      Segalsent to us a few weeks ago.

      There was a general feeling that we did not have enough information on what
      the economic impact of moving the 2006 meetings might be. Dan encouraged me
      to address that question to Liz; she responded very quickly. I am
      discussing this
      information now as I understand that the EB will meet by conference call on
      or about 1 July, and I am leaving the country on 25 June.

      First, there is a penalty clause in the contract with the SF Hilton by which
      the AAA would have to pay damages of about $340,000 if the Association
      breaches the contract.

      On the other hand, the AAA is trying to negotiate with other hotel chains
      that have indicated that they might be willing to cover part of these costs
      in the event that the AAA switches the meetings to them.

      So it would seem that IF the AAA moves the 2006 meetings from the SF Hilton,
      the Association will pay about $340,000 to that hotel for services not
      rendered; but may be in a position to get at least some of it back from the
      new host.

      In re the effect on programs and activities of the $445K loss from last
      year's meetings move, the position of the AAA seems to be that all that was
      lost from the operating budget for this year was about $18,000, or 4% of the
      $445K, on the theory that the loss was covered by the endowment and that the
      only consequential decline in the operating budget was from loss of the
      interest that would have accrued to the AAA from the $445K, and been
      available for programs.

      Members of the SAE Executive Committee understand this accounting but are
      still troubled by the fact that, in essence, about $450,000 collected to
      advance anthropology was lost last year.

      While we do not question the motives of the EB in not raising the issue of
      costs when conducting the membership survey referred to in the report, we
      regret that this information was not made available to the membership as
      they considered those questions.

      Finally, there was some concern expressed that the issues discussed by the
      SA thus far, and referred by me to the SAE Exec Committee, have mainly been
      about ways to limit the options for conducting ordinary scholarly business
      and also raise the costs of doing so, at a time when the financial future of
      our Section may be impacted by AnthroSource.

      One member noted with great concern the issues raised at the ACLS meetings
      mentioned in the report, that indicate that efforts to advance "social
      policy goals" could prevent some scholarly associations from successfully
      conducting annual meetings -- as, de facto, happened to the AAA last year.
      This member questions the wisdom of letting social policy obstruct scholarly
      work.

      We did not formulate any conclusions, but there is some sentiment that the
      EB should explicitly inform the membership of the possible economic costs in
      moving the 2006 meetings, and also try to ascertain some sense of the extent
      to which the membership is willing to impair the AAA's ability to carry out
      its academic functions, in order to pursue social policy goals.

      Best wishes to all for a pleasant and productive summer.

      Bob Hayden
      *********************************************************
      Robert M. Hayden
      Professor of Anthropology, Law and Public & International Affairs
      Director, Center for Russian & East European Studies
      University of Pittsburgh
      President, 2004-06, SAE




      Dear SA Colleagues,

      I want to add one important piece of information regarding the issue of
      whether the AAA should move the AAA 2006 annual meeting from San
      Francisco, due to the lack of a settlement in the contract dispute
      between Unite Here and the 14 Hotel Chains in the Management Consortium.

      In the materials sent to you last week, you will have noted that hotels
      in the cities that the AAA might move to have offered a payment (of
      various amounts) to compensate the AAA for the cost of canceling its
      contract in SF. Thus, you might well have wondered what the
      cancellation fee in SF will be. The answer to that question is that
      AAA's contract for SF specifies a cancellation fee of 340,000, if we
      cancel at this time. (If we cancel closer to the dates of the
      convention, the fee would go up, and this is one component of the EB's
      decision-making).

      Please let me know if you have any further questions that I might be
      able to help with.

      Cheers, Dan






      -----Original Message-----
      From: Kim Baker [mailto:kbaker@...]
      Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 12:22 PM
      To: Alice Kehoe/Paul Doughty (E-mail); Bennetta Jules-Rosette (E-mail);
      Bill Irons (E-mail); Catherine Lutz (E-mail); Christa Craven (E-mail);
      Craig Janes (E-mail); Dan Segal; Dan Segal; Dianne Lynn Chidester
      (E-mail); Dorothy Holland (E-mail); Gabriela Vargas Cetina (E-mail);
      Jafari Sinclaire Allen (E-mail); Jeanne Simonelli (E-mail); Jenny B
      White (E-mail); John Baker (E-mail); John R Bowen (E-mail); Joseph (Pat)
      Gray (E-mail); Kathryn M. Anderson-Levitt (E-mail); Laura Miller
      (E-mail); Leanne Hinton (E-mail); Lee D Baker (E-mail); Leslie Lieberman
      (E-mail); Mari Lyn Salvador (E-mail); Mary K Anglin (E-mail); Meg Conkey
      (E-mail); Michael Lambek (E-mail); Micki Iris (E-mail); Miriam Chaiken
      (E-mail); Murray Leaf (E-mail); Paule Cruz Takash (E-mail); Pauline
      Turner Strong (E-mail); persephone Hintlian (E-mail); Peter Biella
      (E-mail); Peter Brown (E-mail); Robert Hayden (E-mail); Rudy Gaudio
      (E-mail); Susan Greenbaum (E-mail); Tom Sheridan (E-mail)
      Subject: A report from Liz Brumfiel (w cover from Dan Segal) on the 2006
      Annual Meeting

      Dear Section Assembly Colleagues,
      I am forwarding to you a report from AAA President Liz Brumfiel
      regarding the AAA meeting of 2006. It is now scheduled to be held in San
      Francisco, where there continues to be a stand-off between UNITE HERE and
      the hotel management consortium. You are encouraged to discuss this report
      with your own boards and to provide feedback to the EB, by
      sending comments to me (dsegal@...), Liz,
      (ebrumfiel@...), and President-Elect Alan Goodman
      (agoodman@...).
      Electronic discussion within the SA may also be fruitful.

      Sincerely, Dan (qua SA Convenor)

      <<AAA.Board.LRC.rept.doc>>
      TO: SA
      FROM: Dan Segal
      RE: I am forwarding to you a memo from Bill Davis that discusses options for
      the AAA to move its 2006 meeting from San Francisco, given the ongoing labor
      dispute there, to another city in N. America.
      The SA should keep in mind that contracts for conventions the size of a AAA
      meeting are usually signed several years in advance, so that MANY cities
      where we might consider meeting in the future are not available for us on
      such short notice. The work of identifying cities that meet all of the AAA's
      criteria has been done by AAA Staff working with the consulting firm of
      Conference Direct, which has worked for AAA for several years.
      MEMORANDUM

      To: Section Assembly

      From: Bill Davis, AAA Executive Director

      Subject: Update on 2006 Annual Meeting Issues Copies: Liz Brumfiel, AAA
      President, and Alan Goodman, AAA President-elect

      This is to report to you on several things that have occurred since the May
      Executive Board meeting.

      1. Following the meeting, at the Board's directive I asked Conference Direct
      to determine what other venues might be available as alternative sites for
      AAA's 2006 Annual Meeting currently scheduled for November 27 - December 1,
      2006 at
      the San Francisco Hilton. In their exploration of other options, I
      emphasized four criteria: (1) following then existing Board policy, the
      meeting venue would have to be unionized; (2) since our meetings in 2004,
      2005 and 2007 are in the east, we would prefer a West Coast location; (3)
      while we realized that AAA would likely have to use convention centers in
      any number of locations (because no single or combination of hotels could
      accommodate our scholarly program), we
      asked them to minimize the number of separate properties that we would have
      to use in each city venue; and (4) we could consider dates from October 1
      through December 10.

      On June 3, ConferenceDirect reported back that 4 sites were potentially
      available: Anaheim, California (Nov. 15-19); San Jose, California (Nov
      15-19); Portland, Oregon (Oct 11-15) and Vancouver, British Columbia (Nov
      29-Dec 3). ConferenceDirect had also inquired about the availability of
      space in Seattle, San Diego and Orlando, but none were available between
      October 1 and December 10.

      On Monday, June 6th, Lucille Horn, our attorney Dave Frantz and I had a
      lengthy conference call with the ConferenceDirect team (including Brian
      Stevens, their President) to discuss the various options and to get
      questions answered about each potential site.

      On June 7th, we convened a conference call of the AAA Officers, Section
      Assembly Convener, Lucille Horn and myself to report on these matters and to
      discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal. As you might guess,
      each site has positive qualities and each has negatives.

      A short version of their major differences follows:

      Anaheim: November 15-19, 2006; both program sessions and sleeping rooms will
      fit into two hotels; don't need convention center; headquarters would be
      Hilton (unionized--contract expires 5/07); overflow would be Marriott
      (non-union); sleeping room rates $179 single or double at both properties;
      subsidy offered to help pay off SFHilton is $165,000. Anaheim has been
      described as a relatively barren place with few restaurants within walking
      distance, but Dan Segal will be visiting the area surrounding the two hotels
      we would be using and report back
      to us prior to the next Board teleconference.

      San Jose: November 15-19, 2006; program sessions would be in Convention
      Center, Marriott and Hilton hotels; sleeping rooms will be in 9 hotels
      (seven are unionized-Marriott contract expires 2008, Hilton contract expired
      2004; Fairmont expires 2004, 2005, 2007; Wyndham expires 2008; Crown Plaza
      expires 2006; two Hyatts both expire 2005--2 hotels are non-union); hotels
      are located from 1 block to an 8 minute ride on the light rail away from the
      convention center; sleeping room rates range from $119 to $199; subsidy
      offered to help pay off SFHilton is $179,875. San Jose is a relatively
      low-density city, with a number
      of inexpensive restaurants within walking distance of the convention center.
      Please note the San Jose Marriott has communicated they will only hold space
      until June 30, 2005 as they have another business opportunity.

      Portland: October 11-15, 2006; program sessions would be in convention
      center (assuming that four other groups currently scheduled in the center
      could be cleared out); sleeping rooms will be in 13-14 hotels across the
      river from the convention center (4 are unionized-Hilton contract expires
      2007, Benson contract ongoing; University Place contract expires 2005;
      Paramount contract expires 2008-10 hotels are non-union) ; hotels are spread
      out all over the city but free public transportation connects all
      properties; sleeping rooms range from $125 to $236; subsidy offered to help
      pay off SFHilton is $165,000. Portland is regarded as a visually attractive
      and pleasant city; a AAA meeting would occupy most of the hotel rooms and
      virtually take over the city.

      Vancouver: November 29-December 3, 2006; program sessions would be in
      convention center; sleeping rooms will be in 5 hotels (4 are
      unionized-Hyatt, Renaissance and Westin contracts expire 2007; Fairmont
      expires 2005-1 is non-union) all of which are nine blocks or less walking
      distance of the convention center; sleeping rooms range from $170 to $195
      Canadian dollars; subsidy offered to help pay off SFHilton is $71,500
      Canadian dollars; average temperature (end of Nov/Dec) is 45 degrees
      Fahrenheit. Vancouver is generally regarded as a beautiful city; visually
      like a number of European cities. Were the meeting to
      be there, AAA meeting attendees would be required to have a passport or
      multiple forms of other official identification.

      Airfares from six major U.S. hubs (New York, Washington, Atlanta,
      Minneapolis, Dallas and Salt Lake) average $254 to Anaheim, $295 to San
      Jose, $303 to Portland and $466 to Vancouver.

      Over the course of their conversations, a consensus emerged among the June
      7th conference call participants that Portland should not be further
      considered as a potential site for the 2006 meetings. Principal reasons were
      the fact that we would be spread over a convention center and 13-14 hotels,
      that 10 of those hotels are not unionized, the fact that the convention
      center is across the river from all of the hotels, that the only available
      dates are October 11-15, 2006 and that the convention center would have to
      clear out 4 other groups to provide the space we need. At the conclusion of
      the conversation, it was decided that the preliminary views of this group
      would be reported first to the Labor Relations Commission, and their
      reactions solicited. It was agreed that Alan Goodman would also communicate
      these views to UniteHere, the union representing organized hotel workers in
      San Francisco, and their reactions solicited. Having received this
      information, it was decided then to convey all of this information to the
      Section Assembly and to solicit their views. While the Executive Board had
      previously directed staff to initiate further surveying of the membership on
      the acceptability of various potential times and locations for the 2006
      meeting, members of the group felt that such a survey at this point in the
      deliberations was not advisable. Finally, it was decided that an Executive
      Board telephone conference call meeting would be scheduled for June 28 or
      June 29 to report on all of these matters, where upon if the Board deemed
      appropriate, it would make a decision relative to the location of the 2006
      AAA Annual Meeting.

      The Labor Relations Commission had a telephone conference call on June 13,
      during which Alan Goodman reported the results of ConferenceDirect's
      research and on the June 7 Officers and Section Assembly Convener conference
      call discussion. Following this discussion, representatives of UniteHere
      were added to the conference call and their views solicited. Alan Goodman
      will report on these discussions in a separate, forthcoming communication.
      Best,

      Kim

      Kimberley Baker
      Section Liaison & Executive Secretary
      American Anthropological Association
      (703) 528-1902 ext 3027
      kbaker@...


      Dear Section Assembly Members,

      As Bill Davis mentions in the email you received last Friday via Dan Segal,
      I am writing to informally report on ongoing conversations among the Labor
      Relations Committee (LRC) members and between the LRC and Unite Here
      representatives Neal Kwatra and Mathew Walker. The purpose of our
      communications is to better understand unionization and contract
      negotiations in San Francisco and the cities and hotels that
      ConferenceDirect has identified as possible alternative locations for the
      2006 annual meetings.
      Although I have passed this memo by the LRC, I have not been designated to
      speak for the LRC and others on the committee may put see things slightly
      differently. Moreover, LRC work is ongoing. The purpose of this email is
      to provide timely information specifically about labor issues that
      supplements and updates the memo from Bill Davis.

      Process
      Available members of the LRC (Louise Lamphere (Chair); Bill Mitchell; Polly
      Strong; Alan Goodman; Rob O'Brien; Paul Nuti (AAA Staff Liaison)) received a
      copy of the Conference/Direct report on possible alternative cities and
      hotels. We met by conference call on June 13, first among ourselves to
      discuss the labor situation in the alternative cites and hotels, and then
      with Walker and Kwatra of UH. In addition, O'Brien and I have been in
      communication with Kwatra by phone and email, Lucille Horn (AAA Meetings
      Director) has been collecting additional information, and the LRC has been
      discussing options by email.

      San Francisco (and LA)
      Walker reported that a contract agreement was reached over the previous
      weekend(June 12, 2005) in LA and that it was "only good news" with respect
      to ongoing negotiations in San Francisco. There is the possibility of added
      momentum in San Francisco, and a move by AAA out of San Francisco has the
      potential to significantly increase momentum. However, Walker and Kwatra
      caution that there is a different set of players in San Francisco. The only
      certainty about the
      labor situation in San Francisco is uncertainty


      San Jose

      UH reports that the labor situation is now much better in San Jose than was
      reported by ConferenceDirect and should soon be even better. According to
      Kwatra, contracts well past the date of our scheduled SF meeting at the end
      of 2006 have been or are close to being signed with the Hilton, two Hyatt
      hotels, and the Wyndham. Lucille Horn confirms that the Hilton now has a
      contract signed through 2008. If the other properties are confirmed, this
      means that San Jose now has a large number of union hotels available to
      choose from that are close to the convention center and have secure,
      long-term contracts. UH is confident that it is highly unlikely that we
      would encounter any on-going labor issues if we held the meeting in San Jose


      Vancouver

      Whereas ConferenceDirect reports that the Fairmont is unionized (with a
      contract expiring on August 1, 2005), UH reports that it may not be
      unionized or may be only partly unionized. We are trying to resolve the
      conflicting information and get a sense of contract negotiations. The
      status of the Fairmont may be significant. While not our headquarters hotel,
      it is next in line by number of rooms.

      Anaheim

      The main concern from the perspective of the LRC is that the Marriott, the
      overflow property, is non-Union. We are trying to resolve the degree to
      which we would use the Marriott. One sense is that it would be minimal
      because the main hotel, the unionized Hilton, can hold the meetings (perhaps
      with some of the meetings in the nearby convention center). On the other
      hand, the Marriott could be involved in a substantial amount of AAA business
      if, for example, we can not book the convention center for meetings space
      and we can not rely at all on other union properties in Anaheim such as the
      Disney hotels for room pace.

      UH also report rumors that the Anaheim Hilton may be up for sale, and if
      true, that might have negative consequence for the contract with UH.

      Current sense of the LRC

      If we were to move the 2006 AAA annual meetings, a main goal would be to
      move to a place where we can hold our meetings in predominantly unionized
      facilities with the least threat of another labor disruption. On these
      criteria, and assuming that the information from UH is confirmed, San Jose
      appears to now be our surest and safest option. If the use of the Anaheim
      Marriott is considerable, then Anaheim may well be our worst option.

      However, for all possible alternate locations, we need more information and
      further updating. The LRC and AAA will continue to gather and inte rpret
      information. Someone from the LRC (or AAA) will report further to the SA
      when further information is collected.

      Dear Kim,
      Fellow Section Assembly members,

      The Executive Board of the Anthropology & Environment Section has approved
      the following motion regarding the 2006 Annual Meeting of the AAA:

      The Executive Board of the Anthropology & Environment Section would like to
      commend the AAA Executive Board, Staff, and Labor Relations Commission for
      taking such a proactive stance regarding the location of the 2006 Annual
      Meeting. We deeply appreciate your efforts to provide the AAA Sections and
      membership with such informed and detailed information about alternative
      locations to the San Francisco Hilton.

      In light of continued uncertainty about labor relations at the San Francisco
      Hilton, the A&E Executive Board recommends that the AAA move its 2006 Annual
      Meeting to San Jose.

      We understand the ethical and logistical reasons for dropping Portland from
      consideration as a venue for the 2006 Annual Meeting, but recommend that it
      be considered as a site for future Annual Meetings when and if unionized
      hotel venues become available there.

      Best,

      Tom

      Thomas E. Sheridan, Ph.D.
      Professor of Anthropology
      President, Anthropology & Environment Section, AAA
      The Southwest Center and the Department of Anthropology
      University of Arizona
      1052 N. Highland
      Tucson, AZ 85721-0185
      (520) 621-5088
      (520) 621-9922 (FAX)
      Thomas E. Sheridan, Ph.D.
      Professor of Anthropology
      President, Anthropology & Environment Section, AAA
      The Southwest Center and the Department of Anthropology
      University of Arizona
      1052 N. Highland
      Tucson, AZ 85721-0185
      (520) 621-5088
      (520) 621-9922 (FAX)

      Dear Bill, Kim and Dan,

      Not to prolong the process, but I was curious if Los Angeles is had been
      considered for 2006 given the contract dispute resolution - AND, given our
      recent Mayoral election - Antonio Villaraigosa - who comes out of labor
      politics and supported the Unions in the hotel contract resolution - Los
      Angeles promises to become even most interesting. Perhaps there is not
      sufficient availability for 2006 at this date?
      What about in the next four years?

      I have heard back from ALLA Board members who to a person had proposed a
      Mexico site but support San Jose as the best choice on the table. I will
      draft our formal statement of support later today.

      Many thanks,
      Paule Cruz Takash
      ALLA President.

      Hi Paule,

      ConferenceDirect and AAA staff were asked to consider ALL possible sites,
      particularly on the West Coast of N. America (as explained in Bill's memo).
      The primary difficulty is that large conferences are booked many years in
      advance, so that it is hard to find a city with enough hotel space, when one
      is looking a mere 18 or so months in advance of a conference. I will ask
      Lucille to confirm that LA was reviewed, but the instruction from the EB to
      ConferenceDirect and AAA staff clearly included LA. The only four cities
      that came back as possible were the four that were reported about in Bill's
      email, which was distributed (in slightly different forms) to the LRC and
      the SA.

      Personally, I'd be thrilled to have the meeting in LA (early in the 1980s,
      it was held in LA, but that was the last time, I believe).

      Cheers, Dan

      Dan,

      So this is only about a possible substitute hotel/venue for SF in 06.
      Correct? It doesn't concern such things as whether the AAA will lose money
      for breaking the contract, etc.

      Thanks,
      Dottie
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